Protesters who were at the ITO Metro station to demand the rollback of the Agnipath recruitment scheme were detained by the Delhi Police on Friday morning. The protesters included members of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Students’ Federation of India (SFI).
All gates of the ITO Metro station were closed on Friday afternoon. All gates of the nearby Delhi Gate and Jama Masjid Metro station were also briefly closed. Police and CRPF were deployed outside gate number 5 at ITO. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) issued an update at around 4 pm alerting commuters that all gates were open for entry and exit from the ITO metro station.
According to a statement from the SFI Delhi Committee, the Agnipath scheme will “weaken the armed forces” and will “create dire situations for the youth of this country”.
“The armed forces have hitherto provided a lucrative job option with good salaries and other life securities. The Agnipath scheme, however, will do away with the pensions and the life insurance scheme will also be limited to the four-year period of recruitment under the scheme. Out of everyone who gets training during this period, only 25% will be made permanent and rest will be left unemployed. What will happen when the youth with military training are sent back into society with no job guarantee?” the statement read.
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Protesters part of AISA were seen holding placards asking for a rollback of the scheme. Members of the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), the Aam Aadmi Party’s students’ wing, were also part of a protest at ITO.
A senior police officer said several people had gathered at ITO to hold a protest. They were detained as they didn’t have permission from police to hold a rally and Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in the area, banning large gatherings.
“We had anticipated the gathering and made adequate security arrangements in the area. We immediately removed all protesters and detained them,” said an officer.